When can my boss exclude me from the tip pool?

UPDATED: Sep 3, 2019

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When can my boss exclude me from the tip pool?

I called out sick 1 day and my employer informed me I would not be included in our tip pool for that week. Is this


Asked on September 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it's not legal. You can, of course, be excluded for the day you missed, but only for that day. Example, to keep things simple, I will assume $200 tips per day, 5 days worked that week, and there are 5 of you the pool. You were there  4 days, during which there was $800 in tips to be split between all 5 of you in the pool: you each get $160. Then the 5th day, you were not there, so you get nothing that day and your 4 colleagues split the  $200 in tips from that day.
If you boss excludes you from the pool for days you were there, you could, if you deem it worthwhile, contact the state department of labor about filing a complaint.

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